Smoke and mirrors: The iPhone 5C was never the ‘cheap’ version


The rumor mill has been swirling for weeks on end with talk of the iPhone 5C. If you believed the rumors and the noise the press was making, the iPhone 5C is the cheap phone that Apple was going to release to compete in the mid-range smartphone market.

Unfortunately, all of these leaks and rumors have confused a lot of people and many are in uproar on Twitter today at how Apple could charge so much for a “cheap” version of the iPhone and how they ever believe they’re going to compete with that.

The problem here is, among all the media speculation and hype people began to believe Apple was going to introduce the iPhone 5C to compete at the low-priced end of the smartphone market. It never was. The ‘C’ does not stand for cheap.

If you look at the iPhone 5C now that it’s announced and the simple fact that Apple has suddenly chosen to discontinue the iPhone 5 going forward it’s more obvious as to what Apple is attempting to do here.

Yes, the iPhone 5C is cheaper than the 5S but it’s not intended to be in the “cheap” phone market. The iPhone 5C solves a problem that has plagued Apple ever since they introduced the tick-tock release schedule of ‘S’ phones: they all looked the same. The 5C essentially slots right into the gap left by last year’s handset.

The problem with the old method was apparent if we consider a world where the iPhone 5 and 5S are both on the market. If the iPhone 5 was the ‘cheap’ version of the 5S, why would anyone want to buy the old version of the current phone? They looked exactly the same aside from a few small design tweaks, which likely would have caused a lot of confusion and it’s likely people would often be confused as to if the new version of the phone is really worth it. This almost certainly happened with the 4 and 4S.

With the 5C, the line is drawn in the sand. It’s essentially a way for Apple to differentiate what’s available in their lineup and broaden their portfolio while simply keeping to the same model. The iPhone 5C is essentially the 5 in a plastic body with a few small tweaks.

It makes sense, because it lessens confusion and gives people more options rather than simply having the previous years’ model. I think this simple change will sell more phones than ever before, while making the market believe that Apple has entered into a new segment. Colored, plastic iPhones are now an option alongside the ‘premium’ metal iPhone which makes more sense than having two virtually identical phones on the market.

It’s nothing more than Smoke and mirrors. I believe it’s going to be the most popular iPhone yet.


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